NPA reshuffle sees Nomgcobo Jiba's promotion

EWN has learnt Jiba has been promoted to head all prosecutions services in South Africa.

FILE. Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Eyewitness News has learnt that Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba has been promoted to head all prosecutions services in the country.

Prosecutions boss Shaun Abrahams briefed the media in Pretoria on Tuesday on several high-profile cases, where he also announced the NPA would formally withdraw fraud and perjury charges against Jiba in court today.

It's understood Abrahams dissolved the entire NPA executive committee before reappointing new members to the various portfolios.

NPA officials said Abrahams has combined the offices of the National Prosecutions Service and the Specialised Prosecutions Service into one, and appointed Jiba to lead it.

Willie Hofmeyr has been moved to the Legal Affairs division, while advocate Nomvula Mokhatla takes over the Assets Forfeiture Unit.

Abrahams declined to comment on the reshuffle.

"This reshuffle has been made in line with my vision in taking this institution forward. It's an internal matter. I do not intend to address it in the public domain."

The positions come into effect next Monday.

GOOD FAITH

When Judge Trevor Gorven set aside Jiba's decision to prosecute KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Johan Booysen last year, he found her decision to institute the matter was arbitrary, offended the principle of legality and the rule of law, and was therefore unconstitutional.

Yet, Abrahams has relied on section 78 of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act that states no person shall be held liable for anything done in good faith under that particular act.

"The mentioned provision clearly absolves Ms. Jiba from any liability, including criminal prosecution for having exercised her power in terms of the empowerment provisions."

He refused to take questions from the media and cut short the press conference - allowing no interrogation of his decision.

LEGAL GROUPS REACT

Meanwhile, legal groups have expressed outrage at Abrahams's decision to not only withdraw charges against Jiba but to actually promote her.

Corruption Watch head David Lewis said Jiba is simply the wrong person for this job.

"She would not want to appoint to a senior position somebody who is surrounded by controversy."

While the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac)'s Lawson Naidoo said Abrahams may be ignoring a promise President Jacob Zuma made in a letter to his organisation."

"In which the president had said that he's asked the NDPP to urgently apprise him of whether the continued employment Jiba warranted her suspension."